In just his third AFL season, Sydney Swans star Errol Gulden has snatched a first All-Australian blazer.
The 21-year-old midfielder was the only Swan selected in the 2023 All-Australian side on Wednesday.
"(Swans coach John Longmire) called me at the start of the week to let me know that I was in the actual team," Gulden said on Thursday.
"I was pretty stoked. I wasn't supposed to tell anyone but I obviously told all the boys straight away."
The Sydney homegrown talent debuted in 2021 before rising to the top at the Swans.
Gulden claimed two individual awards in 2023, winning best-on-ground honours in the Sydney Derby win over the Giants in Round 21 and in the Swans' record-breaking 205-34 win against West Coast in round 15.
Across all 23 games in the regular season, Gulden kicked 20 goals, averaged 27 disposals and had 10 contested possessions.
He finished the home-and-away season with a personal best 42 disposals and two goals against Melbourne.
"It was quite a surreal feeling being amongst a lot of those (All-Australian) players last night," Gulden said.
"I came straight from the airport and the boys were warming up - a lot of them came over and gave a big hug and said congratulations."
Gulden is one of many young stars at the Swans, one of the youngest sides in the competition.The squad's average age is 24 and has an average experience of 70 games.
"Sometimes we're a little bit naive, but it can work in our favour," Gulden said.
"We have a lot of confidence and we draw that off one another.
"We've got a lot of wise heads here - a lot of older players that have been through similar things and they're very quick to keep me grounded if they see me swaying."
Fellow Swans young gun Chad Warner said embracing their inexperience has been key to the team's success.
"I know Errol and I and all the other young boys absolutely loved the doubt (when facing experienced sides)," he said.
"We like to try and see what we can do and prove people wrong.
"We have a lot of confidence in each other - that your mate will back you up and that you can trust them."
The Swans go into a bye before facing off against Carlton at the MCG in the first elimination final on Friday, September 8.
The winner will go on to play either Melbourne or Collingwood to grab a place in the preliminary finals.